Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease affecting the colon and rectum. The other parts of the digestive tract are not damaged, which differentiates it from Crohn’s disease. Initially, the infection takes place in the large intestine. However, it can spread to other body parts, making it difficult to treat. Ulcerative colitis is characterized by its action in periods in which disease outbreaks are suffered, while the rest of the time, the person can lead an everyday life. The most frequent symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea with blood and pus. In FastlyHealwe will see what the signs and treatments of ulcerative colitis are.
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Risk factors for ulcerative colitis
A direct cause that leads to the development of ulcerative colitis has not yet been found. However, a relationship has been established between people with ulcerative colitis and immune system problems. Despite this factor, which can provide important information about the disease, finding the origin of the disease is essential to understand it and cope with it. Several risk factors for ulcerative colitis have been established:
- Hereditary. A family history of ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases can increase the risk of developing ulcerative colitis.
- Infectious . Although not fully proven, it appears that normal bacteria in the intestinal flora could trigger the erroneous activation of the immune system.
- Allergic. Antibodies have been found in the blood related to allergic or autoimmune diseases, indicating that ulcerative colitis is started by an allergic reaction.
- Psychological. It is believed that people under a lot of stress can develop the disease.
- Environmental. It has been shown that the development of the disease is higher in people who are in urban areas than in rural areas.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis can vary in intensity and appear gradually or suddenly. Thus, it is possible for people to lead everyday lives but suddenly experience a flare-up of the disease that triggers a hit of the various symptoms. Among the most common symptoms related to ulcerative colitis, we find:
- Diarrhea with blood or pus. It is the most common symptom when it comes to ulcerative colitis.
- Abdominal pain. It can be caused by inflammation of the intestine, which causes the color in the abdominal area.
- Tenesmus. This symptom consists of the sensation of wanting to go to the bathroom after having defecated, which indicates an inflammation of the rectum.
- Fever. It increased body temperature due to infection.
When people are unaware that they have ulcerative colitis, they can mistake the symptoms for simple temporary diarrhea, although weight loss occurs over time. It must be borne in mind that if the diarrhea is accompanied by blood or pus, it is very likely that it is not regular diarrhea.
Treatment for ulcerative colitis
Currently, there is no definitive treatment for ulcerative colitis, although a set of palliative measures can be applied depending on the development of the disease.
- When it comes to a mild outbreak in which the only part involved is the rectum, drugs known as salicylates are used. These drugs reduce intestinal inflammation and can be taken orally in capsule form or rectally through suppositories. The suppository is used when the disease is limited to the descending colon and rectum. However, it may be the case that it is necessary to consume it orally and rectally.
- In those cases where the salicylates have not taken effect and the outbreak does not end, it is essential to resort to corticosteroids. This type of drug acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is very effective in controlling seizures, with the disadvantage of having some side effects, such as the appearance of acne and increased hair and stretch marks, among others. Its use can be through oral, rectal, or intravenous routes. Its intake is usually progressively reduced until the outbreak is stopped. Two things can happen: either the episode responds positively to the treatment, or its effect is initially positive, but later, the symptoms reappear.
Diagnosis of ulcerative colitis
When the person detects diarrhea with blood or pus and abdominal pain and goes to the doctor, he will carry out an initial review to make an approach to the problem and rule out possible diseases or ailments. Later, more specific tests will be carried out to detect the problem causing the symptoms. In these cases, a colonoscopy is usually performed to examine the inside of the colon for ulcers, inflammation, or any changes.
Another method used in these cases is the Opaque Enema. This method allows examining the inside of the rectum and the ascending colon, taking a photograph to observe them, and searching for any abnormality.
Remember to go to a professional if you experience any ailment or have any questions regarding your physical condition.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.